I Have a Name

I Have a Name
Screenshot:NBC News

If you’re an avid news consumer, you might have read that a, quote, “big pile” of eels was recently found to have been dumped into a lake in one of New York City’s many parks.

Well, the rumors are true. I was dumped into a lake. But I’m more than just the big pile of eels that the media would make me out to be. I’m a mother, a wife, and a bit of a Crown fanatic, I must admit. But above all else, I’m a woman. My name is Kathy Cranheim, and it’s a pleasure to meet you all.

When I first read the Associated Press’ report on this latest chapter of my life, I was upset at its mischaracterization of me. Still, I decided to brush it all off. I’m not a public figure, you see—just your regular, everyday, 21st Century kind of gal. I’ve never been to Paris, nor can I name the latest opera. I dive into my humble mudburrow one face at a time.

But I am speaking out now at the urging of my daughter, Willow, to set the record straight—not just for myself but for every woman, whether she is of eelpile experience or not. Every day, we are misrepresented, diminished, and dismissed, both by the men in our lives and by the media writ large. I am more than “a tangle of wriggling snakes” or any of the other hateful epithets that the AP has used to describe me. I am Kathy, Kathy Cranheim, and I am the protagonist of my life, the heroine of my journey. I am every bit as dynamic as Andrew Orkin, the man who found me piled there on the shore of Prospect Park Lake. Yet, Orkin is the only one of us allowed to be known by his name, allowed to be known as the music composer and jogger that he is. Why not me? Why not Kathy? Misogyny is afoot, and I am not afraid to name it.

It’s almost impressive, really, the ways in which the media has managed to belittle such a big pile of eels as I am. But I will not take it. I will writhe here in my glistening largesse, slick with the freshwater you marvel at every day, until the world or at least a sizeable part of Central Brooklyn sees me for all that I am.

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